Facebook’s independent oversight committee announced on Tuesday that it will begin accepting requests to remove “harmful content” that users believe has been wrongly allowed to remain on leading social networks.

This move has the potential to greatly expand the work of the so-called “Supreme Court” of Facebook, which has so far been tasked with examining whether content has been illegally taken from Facebook or Instagram.

The oversight committee established by Facebook is responsible for dealing with controversial issues related to content review. The committee began operations last year and issued its first ruling in January. The decision to overturn Facebook’s management is binding.

The agency’s administrative director Thomas Hughes (Thomas Hughes) said: “Allowing users to appeal the content they wish to remove from Facebook is a major extension of the supervisory committee’s functions.”

“The purpose of the board of directors is to ensure that fewer decisions on highly important content issues are made by Facebook alone, and that better decisions can be made through an independent, transparent process dedicated to safeguarding human rights and freedom of expression. Today’s The announcement is another step towards achieving this goal.”

At the time of the announcement, Facebook and other social platforms were under tremendous pressure to take action against misinformation and abusive content, ranging from election-related scams to unproven COVID-19 handling methods.

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Users who think harmful posts, photos, videos, comments and sharing are still online can file an appeal to the panel to delete them.

As part of the new process, the team will establish procedures that include providing privacy protection for users seeking to take down requests.

“We hope that everyone on Facebook and Instagram will attract the rest of the content in the coming weeks,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s head of integrity.

“We are very pleased that the supervisory committee is expanding its scope and influence, and look forward to its future decisions and recommendations.”

Editorial board?
Emily Bell, director of the Center for Towing Digital Journalism at Columbia University, said that this change means “a substantial increase in the authority of the supervisory committee” and may further transform Facebook into a media company.

Bell said: “This is what a news-driven media company did, and this is also Facebook’s behavior. (Facebook CEO Mark) Zuckerberg can’t do this himself, neither can his board of directors and senior executives. .” Say on twitter.

“Therefore, the supervisory committee has effectively become the default editorial committee.”

Jo Lukito, a professor at the University of Texas Media Engagement Center, said that it is not clear whether Facebook will be overwhelmed by a large number of requests for removal.

Luquito said: “Facebook’s supervisory committee lacks the infrastructure to deal with the influx of cases.”

“In view of Facebook’s lack of transparency and consistency in handling various misinformation cases, it is unclear whether the expansion of the supervisory committee’s terms of reference can really ensure that misinformation is systematically eliminated from social media platforms.”

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A radical group calling itself “the real Facebook monitoring committee” said the new effort failed to materialize.

The organization said in a statement: “By empowering the supervisory committee to do a good job for them, Facebook has washed its hands on the hardest decision the company should make.”

The members of the Facebook monitoring committee come from various countries, including jurists, human rights activists, journalists, Nobel Peace Prize winners and former Danish prime ministers.

The team is reviewing tens of thousands of cases, including Facebook’s decision to ban former US President Donald Trump.

In a ruling issued on Tuesday, the panel upheld Facebook’s decision to delete a video of someone posted in the Netherlands. The video showed a child meeting an adult with a black face, dressed as a portrayal of “Zwarte Piet “Or Black Pete, which is a well-known folklore character in the area who was the companion of Saint Nicholas.

The committee said: “After most people found evidence of damage sufficient to prove their deletion, the supervisory committee upheld Facebook’s decision.” The committee pointed out that these images were related to “racist stereotypes”.


Why did LG give up its smartphone business? We discussed it on the gadget 360 podcast Orbital. Later (from 22:00), we will discuss the new cooperative RPG shooting game “Outriders”. Orbital is available for Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify and wherever you get podcasts.